New Zealand launches vaccine buses

Auckland, Sep 16 (IANS): Three mobile vaccine buses launched in New Zealand's Auckland city on Thursday to help people fasten their Covid-19 vaccination.

According to local media, 12 such buses in total converted from airport Park and Ride vehicles will be provided to suburbs where access to vaccinations is more difficult, reports Xinhua news agency.

The converted black and orange airport buses have vaccination signs posted on their sides. One reads "Roll up your sleeves, Auckland", and another "Vaccinate for Auckland".

Auckland, the biggest and most populated city in New Zealand, is experiencing the fifth consecutive week of Level 4 lockdown, the longest period since Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

New Zealand experts warn that the only way for Kiwis to avoid lockdowns in future is to have as many as possible of the eligible population vaccinated.

Three million doses have been administered nationwide to date, with 1,529,839 people fully vaccinated, 36 per cent of the eligible population, according to the statistics from Ministry of Health, but still a big gap from the government's ambition.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hoped to see 80 per cent of Auckland residents get vaccinated with their first dose by the end of this week.

She urged anyone who has not had their first vaccine to "do it today".

Alongside with vaccine buses, many vaccination centres reopened "walk-in" vaccination service nationwide, which means booking is not necessar.

The country reported 13 new community cases of Delta variant of Covid-19 on Thursday, all in Auckland, which brought the total number of cases in the country's community outbreak to 996 since August 17.

New Zealand has so far registered 3,999 coronavirus cases and 27 deaths.



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